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SHIP NAME: Athenian Fidelity KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source LMIU
type C
volume
material
dead 5
link

Had explosion in No 2 centre tank in 16 39.5 N 68 45 W 11 Jan 1999. Forward starboard deck blown out. Arrived Barahona 13 Jan for inspections. Sailed 05 Feb for Varna for repairs, arriving 25 Feb.


source Lloyds List
type A
volume
material
dead 5
link

Brian Reyes and Nigel Lowry

Athenian rallies to its standard

Nigel Lowry looks at Athenian Sea Carriers, operator of the damaged product tanker Castor which was condemned by Spanish allegations this week as ´substandard´. THIS is not the first time that January has proved to be a miserable month for Athenian Sea Carriers, the Greek shipping company which has been sweating for the past 10 days on the fate of its damaged product tanker Castor. In January 1999, two other Athenian-controlled tankers were hit by blasts within a week of each other; a fact that is likely to have made the company all the more nervous about the spectre of a spark bringing an untimely end to the career of the Castor. Despite not being able to boast an unblemished accident record, though, Athenian is generally considered a reputable tanker operator and its vessels appear to have a sound record in the eyes of their flag state, class and port inspectors around the world.

The worse of the accidents two years ago this month saw five crew killed by flying metal when there was an explosion on board another handysize product carrier, Athenian Fidelity, during a voyage from New York to Venezuela. Despite the fact that the ship left the US with a gas-free certificate, a subsequent Cypriot investigation concluded that the condition of the 14 year-old vessel changed on reaching warmer Caribbean waters and work being carried out by crew in chipping the deck ignited newly developed pockets of gas in her tanks. The investigation attributed the accident solely to crew negligence, although Athenian has always been convinced that a gas pocket was ignited by static electricity after the vessel sailed through a tropical storm. This was also acknowledged by the Cypriots as a possible cause.

A few days earlier, the forecastle of the 83,466 dwt Athenian Pride had been blown off during a ship-to-ship transfer of crude oil to a VLCC anchored off Fujairah. On that occasion, all crew members survived. The investigation held that a spark from the anchor chain ignited cleaning solvents in a bosun´s store. The storeroom door had been left ajar and crew error was again identified as the primary cause of the accident.


source ITF
type D
volume
material
dead 4
link

ITF claims weather was excellent. Crew was using chipping hammers to remove and renew tank lid gaskets. The cause was the ignition of cargo vapor in 1 and 2 centers. ITF says these tanks had been waterwashed but not safely gas freed. ITF claims there were no proper tank cleaning and purging check lists or procedures. ITF makes no mention of a gas-free certificate.

After the casualty, ship was proceeding to San Juan but ended up diverting to Santo Domingo. ITF claims this was to avoid a USCG inspection.


source CTX
type C
volume
material
dead 5
link

Ship was enroute New York to Venezuela in ballast. We believe ship was double bottom. It is pretty easy to do a good job of cleaning a double bottom cargo tank, especially a center tank. If the ITF story is correct, then the gas free certificate may have been fraudulent. Another possibility is that in tank corrosion allowed gas from adjoining tanks into 1C or 2C.

Calling this FP for now. Athenian vessels have an unfortunate tendency to blow up. The Athenian Venture was lost with all hands off Canada. The Atenian Pride blew up a few days earlier. The only one that we have the full story on was the Castor, which owner, flag state and ABS after careful review of all records insisted was in excellent shape. It turned out her tanks were horribly corroded. On top of the usual reluctance of a FOC to inconvenience its customers, the Kyriakou organization is one of the largest businesses on Cyprus.